"Berry curvature memory through electrically driven stacking transitions"

Jun Xiao: Ying Wang, Hua Wang, C. D. Pemmaraju, Siqi Wang, Philipp Muscher, Edbert J. Sie, Clara M. Nyby, Thomas P. Devereaux, Xiaofeng Qian, Xiang Zhang & Aaron M. Lindenberg; Nature Physics, 06/29/20.

Additional Authors: Ying Wang, Hua Wang, C. D. Pemmaraju, Siqi Wang, Philipp Muscher, Edbert J. Sie, Clara M. Nyby, Thomas P. Devereaux, Xiaofeng Qian, Xiang Zhang & Aaron M. Lindenberg

Abstract:

In two-dimensional layered quantum materials, the stacking order of the layers determines both the crystalline symmetry and electronic properties such as the Berry curvature, topology and electron correlation1,2,3,4. Electrical stimuli can influence quasiparticle interactions and the free-energy landscape5,6, making it possible to dynamically modify the stacking order and reveal hidden structures that host different quantum properties. Here, we demonstrate electrically driven stacking transitions that can be applied to design non-volatile memory based on Berry curvature in few-layer WTe2. The interplay of out-of-plane electric fields and electrostatic doping controls in-plane interlayer sliding and creates multiple polar and centrosymmetric stacking orders. In situ nonlinear Hall transport reveals that such stacking rearrangements result in a layer-parity-selective Berry curvature memory in momentum space, where the sign reversal of the Berry curvature and its dipole only occurs in odd-layer crystals. Our findings open an avenue towards exploring coupling between topology, electron correlations and ferroelectricity in hidden stacking orders and demonstrate a new low-energy-cost, electrically controlled topological memory in the atomically thin limit.